Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday said that India would aim to be the only third side in history to clinch back-to-back Cricket World Cup titles by winning the tournament which will be held in Australia-New Zealand next year.
Dhoni said his side was shaping up nicely and confident of emulating Australia and the West Indies to win back-to-back Cricket World Cups. “It is amazing to think that it is just one year until we defend our ICC Cricket World Cup title as that means it is almost three years since we won the trophy on that amazing night in Mumbai. The memories of that night and of the whole tournament are as fresh and as special as ever,” said Dhoni, in an ICC release to mark one year to go to the start of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
“We know that defending the ICC Cricket World Cup is something that only the West Indies and Australia have done over the whole history of the tournament but with the quality we have in and around our squad we believe we can become the third side to do it,” he said.
The tournament will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29, with India to open its title defence against arch rival and 1992 champion Pakistan in Adelaide on February 15.
Dhoni, who hit the winning runs in Mumbai when India won the title in front of a full-house in 2011, added that his side had players who were capable of handling the pressure of a global event, and that the victory in ICC Champions Trophy in the UK last year proved that his team has the firepower and ability to excel outside its own territory.
“We have a group of players who are experienced at playing in high-pressure situations and we have already shown we are capable of dealing with the dual pressures of being world champions and coping in overseas conditions at a major ICC event by winning the ICC Champions Trophy in the UK last year,” Dhoni added.
While India won its first title in 1983 under Kapil Dev, Clive Lloyd led the West Indies to titles in 1975 and 1979, and Steve Waugh (1999) and Ricky Ponting (2003 and 2007) were at the helm when Australia won the tournament in England, South Africa and the West Indies.
Dhoni, who occupies sixth position in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen, said the New Zealand tour has allowed his side to experience the conditions it will face during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which, in turn, has helped his side to prepare for next year`s tournament.